Friday, May 2, 2014

Buying All The Things! - Yet Another Haul! - Sephora, Ulta, Walgreens, Fortune Cookie Soap, and More!

Hello! Is it spring where you live yet? It certainly isn't here; it's been raining/snowing (some people call it "sleet", I like to call it "snaining") for the past week and it's been hovering around the 40°F's. Ugh. I am so over it. At least it's above freezing.

Which might explain why I've been buying so much lately...I swear, I don't normally buy this much. I'm starting to feel a little...redundant with all these hauls and nothing much in the way of actual content (though admittedly I love reading/watching hauls) and I'm starting to toy with the possibility of doing a Project 10 Pan/No Buy but I'm not sure yet. This is a very collective haul (as most of mine are); I don't go out and buy all these things at once and I do try to get good deals...or maybe I'm just trying to justify things.

I've combined a little more than usual with this post; I actually have a few separate videos for these items (and some aren't even featured in videos), so this haul will look a little bigger than normal.
Gratuitous box shot!
Since I opened with the shot of my Sephora order, I'll start there! This order requires a little backstory; around the holidays (Novemberish, I think), Sephora had one of their 20% Friends/Family/VIB/What-Have-You sales. I stayed up late one night in order to get my online order placed to make sure I got the items I wanted. Unfortunately, there was a glitch in the system, and a lot of people, including myself, struggled to get their orders processed (everything turned out okay in the end!). A lot of people were upset that they weren't able to get their hands on the Hourglass Ambient Lighting palette and, at the time, I didn't even know what that was (so I didn't really care too much). It went out of stock, people were upset, and that was the end of it. Until I started learning more about the Ambient Lighting powders and especially after I finally bought one. I realized what had slipped through my fingers and I regretted that I did not know any better at time.

HOWEVER! Sephora brought the palette back! And made it available online! And it's no longer limited edition. I was afraid it was going to go out of stock again quickly since so many people had been unable to get it the first time around so I ordered as soon as I saw the post on Facebook. And that's what this order was all about!

I'll start with the "boring" stuff first. One thing I really like about buying things online in lieu of getting them in store is that there is pretty much always a deluxe sized sample of something you can get as a gift if you spend $25-$35 or more. This round, there were three different peels you could pick from, and I went with one I've been very interested in trying:
The Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel in the original formula! This is a daily, 2-step peel that's good for sensitive skin. There is also an extra-strength (maybe it's maximum-strength, I can't remember) version, but I worry that would be too harsh for my skin. There are a ton of good skin care ingredients in this peel, and the two-step system is super easy to use and conveniently packaged in single-use pairs. I used this peel three days in a row and I have to say, I'm super impressed! There is a noticeable difference, for the better, in my skin; considering how I only used this three times, that's crazy! I am seriously considering buying the full size.
And these are the three samples I went with. I liked the styling cream I tried from DevaCurl so I got a sample of their gel (another thing I like about DevaCurl: good sized samples, especially needed for us curly-haired girls), I need a more intense skin care routine so I grabbed a packet of Ole Henriksen Pure Truth Youth Activating Oil, and I got a sample of Desigual Sex edt. Because the name amused me.
Also this is what it looked like on the inside. I had a good giggle. It smells pretty generic; I had it on and asked what my husband thought and he said he liked it because it smelt like his mom's perfume. Which made me laugh and confused him, but I think that kind of shows how "generic" of a scent it is.
And here's the whole reason why I placed this order! Yes, those are my pajama pants in the mirror; I couldn't get a better shot at a different angle. Left to right, you get Dim Light, Incandescent Light, and Radiant Light. Dim Light is a neutral beige color for blurring imperfections, Incandescent Light is exclusive to this palette and is a kind of highlighter, and Radiant Light is a golden, shimmery, almost bronzer-like color which would be great to add some warmth to my face. This palette is on the expensive side at $58, and the blocks of powder are smaller than the full sizes, but I do think it's worth it, especially if you want to try a bunch of colors at once without having to invest too much (individual powders are $45, so, even if you could buy the full size of the Incandescent Light, that would be $135 a little crazy). I really like my Diffused Light (the powder I got in the full size during the VIB 20% off sale) powder and I think it really does great things for my complexion (especially when I make videos), so I am super excited to get three more colors to try!

Sticking with things I bought online, I do my Fortune Cookie Soap order next!
I actually made a separate video for this order since I wanted to give a detailed account of my weird shipping experience with this order. If you want to watch the video you can check it out here: I'll try and give the short version here since I don't want this post to get any bigger than it needs to be (and it's already kind of big...), but this is your Wall O' Text warning.

I place an order with Fortune Cookie Soap when the Krispy Cream body butter came back in stock because I really wanted it and I still had my $10 off coupon from my Spring 2014 box to use. When I placed my order, I made a mistake in my billing address which I didn't notice until I got my order confirmation e-mail. I sent FCS an e-mail about it and never got a response but figured it wasn't a big deal since it was just my billing address (which is different from my shipping address) and since the charge on my card went through without a hitch. I waited and waited and waited and didn't get a shipping confirmation, but I wasn't too worried since FCS products are handmade and they generally have a lead time of 5-7 days. Then I got an e-mail from a totally random person saying that she got my FCS order by mistake! She was kind enough to let me know and contact FCS to see what she should do. She sent me another e-mail saying FCS said she can keep the products she received and that they would resend both our orders as soon as possible. Throughout this time, I still hadn't received any info from FCS (though I did not contact them myself), so if it wasn't for the kind girl who e-mailed me, I'd have no clue what was going on. Finally I got an e-mail from FCS in response to my e-mail about the error in my billing address saying they'd handle things. Then I got my shipping confirmation. And my order was being shipped to my billing address. It's not the worst thing since my billing address is actually my parents' house, but they live far enough away from me where it wouldn't make sense for me to drive (technically my husband would be driving me) there and back just to get a package, so they agreed to ship it to me when they received it. In the end I got my products, everything was perfect, and nothing bad happened, but it's just the frustration and extra effort I had to put in to things to get my order that bugged me. Fortune Cookie Soap is a great company; they make amazing products and they have excellent customer service (if I had contacted them, I'm sure they would have been just as polite and helpful as always), I just feel like maybe they're stretched a little too thin; like they're getting to the tipping point where they have to expand and hire more people to keep up with their popularity.

And what did I get?
Every single time I order anything from FCS, I'm going to throw one of these Cupcake lip balms in. I love this lip balm; it has a great, subtle cupcake flavor and it's packed with lots of moisturizing and natural ingredients. This is probably my favorite lip balm ever (followed closely by the Jack Black stuff).
This is Krispy Cream body butter, the item I was waiting for to come back in stock! It's supposed to smell like rice krispy bars with a combination of marshmallow, vanilla, sugar, and cereal. It smells nice, but it's a lot more sugary and less vanilla-grainy than I expected.
This is the Garden of Good Marshmallow Dreams body butter; I got a cuticle butter in this same scent in my 2014 spring box and I loved it and needed to get it in the body butter. And I am so glad I did! This is an interesting, though refreshing, combination of marshmallow, lavender, sage, basil, and vodka. It smells sweet, like the Krispy Cream body butter, but it has a lightness and freshness from the herbs and vodka. It's a wonderful spring scent and I can't recommend it enough!
Finally, I got the Garden of Evil The Bloom Bloom Room body butter. I haven't opened this one yet, so I'm not sure what I think of the smell, but I really liked it in the bath fizzy form I got it in my spring 2014. This is kind of the "wild card" of this order; I'm not a huge fan of florals (this scent is jasmine, lilac, lily of the valley, peach, citrus, and sugar. FCS has a more "colorful" way of describing it) so it will be interesting how I feel about it. I'm pretending this one was only $1 due to my $10 off coupon so I won't feel too bad if I don't like it (plus I'll just give it to my mom).

And that was my FCS order! Like I said, I don't think it warranted it's own post, but I did want to talk about my shipping experience. Now, on to somewhat more random things!

I bought a bunch of nail polish.
This is essie's Belugaria, from the winter 2013 collection, I believe. This is also the first essie polish I've ever owned! This is also probably the most hated essie polish ever. Don't worry, I'm not going to judge the whole line based on this polish. The problem with this polish is that it's a beaded texture so it's just horrible to try and apply.
This is three coats and I pretty much had to stab the polish on which is probably not the best application method for your actual nails. If it's such an awful polish, why did I get it? Because I love having things people either really, really love or really, really hate. It's weird, I know, but it definitely is an interesting polish!

I also got a couple polishes on sale at Sally's! I'm not sure if these are still available at Sally's (they're not at mine, at least), but I have seen these for the same price at Ulta in the sale section, so if you're interested I'd check there. These are both from the OPI Gwen Stefani collection.
This is Love.Angel.Music.Baby, a fine shimmer gold polish that dries to a satin matte finish! I love gold nail polishes and I'm into different textures so I had to pick this up, especially for half off!
And this is the Push and Shove duet pack! It comes with a mini base coat called Lay Down That Base. This is a special polish that has a bit of...controversy around it. This is a gorgeous, super shiny chrome finish polish, but it's only supposed to last one night (you're not supposed to put a top coat over it since that will dull the finish and you have to use the special base coat it comes packaged with), which is where the controversy comes from. Some people didn't think it was right for OPI to make a nail polish that they knew wouldn't last very long; why buy it if you can only wear it one night? And why did OPI only include a mini base coat with a full sized polish? What will you do when you run out of the base coat? Personally, I don't mind if a polish only lasts a day (especially since I only paid $4.50 for this set) and I think the mini bottle of base coat will be sufficient since you're only putting one coat of it on each nail, whereas you need to put two layers of the polish. Essentially, you go through the color twice as fast as the base. You'll probably run out of base before you run out of polish since it's less than half, but by then you'll probably not care.
On the left you can see the gorgeous satin matte finish of Love.Angel.Music.Baby. and on the right is the ridiculously shiny chrome finish of Push and Shove! Very happy I was able to get these on sale.

Here's a totally random candle I bought:
This is the Provence Garden mason jar candle from Bath and Body Works! Normally, I don't like these size candles since I don't think they give off enough scent, but as I was walking to catch my bus (the bus stop is at my mall) I passed Bath and Body Works and they had a huge sign in front that said all mason jar candles were $5 for one day only. I was actually interested in picking this one up, but I didn't want to pay full price for the 3-wick size (I only buy the candles when they go on sale 2 for $22 and even then that was too much). $5, though, I can easily part with, so I picked it up! It's a nice, fresh, spring scent and it leans more on the "greener" side, which I like.

Nearly through! Only three more stops to go, one being Ulta.

I've been looking for some new blush and powder brushes, but I haven't been able to find anything that fit both my needs and my budget. Until I saw that Ulta had Real Techniques brushes on sale buy one get one 50% off! I've heard so many good things about these brushes and I really wanted to give them a try, so I picked up the blush brush (the pink one) and the powder brush (the gold one). I'm not sure, but I think Real Techniques brushes are color-coded since all the eye brushes were purple and there were a bunch of other pink and gold brushes as well. I haven't tried these yet (I was waiting to take them out of their packaging to wash them until I got this post written), but I'm very excited to!

And then I picked this Essence nail stamping set on complete impulse.
This little kit was only $4 and it comes with a stamper, an image plate, and a scraper. I've been watching a lot of nail stamping videos on Youtube and was interested in giving it a try, but I didn't really want to invest too much since I didn't know if I would like it. I'm sure this set is pretty much crap, but I think it will be a good way to experiment and see if this is even something I want to spend more money on. The images on the plate actually look pretty good; they seem well etched with fine details, and they're a good size for using on nails (a big problem I've seen with cheaper image plates is that the images were too big for the nail).

Two more! Now I went to Walgreens and got a bunch of Wet and Wild eyeshadow palettes! I bought more than I intended to, but I've heard nothing but good things about these eyeshadows and since I don't get to Walgreens very often (the closest one to me isn't really within walking distance and bussing there is annoying) I wanted to make this trip worth it. I don't have any swatches of these palettes now, but I may go back and make a separate and more detailed post about these palettes.
There were three different 8-pan palettes and I couldn't decide between this one, Comfort Zone, or the purple one (which I forgot the name of). I went with this palette since I don't have a lot of greens in my collection and my husband said he liked this one the best.
I thought it was kind of neat that, on the back, they listed a few different ways you could wear the different colors! I wish they did this on the back of the smaller palettes, but I suppose there are less things you can do with a 5-pan and 3-pan palette.
This is the only 5-pan set I got; this is Art In the Streets and I really love the bright colors! Again, I don't have many colors like these in my collection, so I figured I'd get the most use out of this palette.
And then I got four 3-pan palettes! This is Silent Treatment...
This is Walking on Eggshells. It's pretty similar to Silent Treatment, but I've seen a lot of people use this palette in tutorials, so I thought I would be silly to not get it...
This is Sweet as Candy and, again, it's very similar to Walking on Eggshells and Silent Treatment, but this is another palette that I've seen in a lot of tutorials...
And this is I'm Getting Sunburned. I got this one because I was really drawn to the gold and pink. I hope these eyeshadows live up to hype, but if they don't, they were super cheap, so it won't be a huge deal.

For the final item of my haul...
I got a knitting kit from B&N! I'm intent on learning how to knit; I can crochet wonderfully, but I just can't seem to grip how to knit. I used to know how, but I could only do one stitch and make rectangles, so that barely even counts. I want to learn to knit because I really want to make my own socks and you can't really crochet socks (it's a stretching/yarn weight thing). Hopefully this kit will be a nice step towards learning how to knit. Hopefully.

And that's my haul! This was another doozey! Again, I don't buy all these things at once, I collect them over a few a weeks, and even then I try to get really good deals. I hope this wasn't too long and that you enjoyed reading it.

Thanks for reading! <3

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